3. Kendall Graveman
Don’t lie — when you saw that Kendall Graveman signed a three-year, $24 million contract with the Chicago White Sox, you asked yourself, “Why didn’t the Dodgers do that?!”
Graveman’s full-time transition to a reliever was a smashing success in 2021. He finished with a 1.77 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 61 strikeouts in 53 games (56 innings) between the Seattle Mariners and Houston Astros. A spectacular performance in a contract year, and the Dodgers could’ve had him for just $8 million per year? That’s what they gave Heaney!
Most importantly, even with Kenley Jansen and Blake Treinen anchoring the bullpen, it was evident the Dodgers’ cast of relievers badly needed assistance in 2021. When you factor in Joe Kelly’s option getting declined and Jansen expected to depart in free agency, the Dodgers will be short on reliable arms capable of pitching high-leverage innings in 2022.
Hudson was a start on a one-year, $7 million deal, but squeezing one more cost-effective/team-friendly deal in there when you knew you probably weren’t paying Seager or Scherzer felt like it would’ve made almost too much sense.